It’s among the rarest of baseball feats, but that doesn't stop Vanderbilt University head coach Tim Corbin from taking the chance every now and then.
Of course we’re talking about attempting a triple steal, which constitutes three different runners stealing second, third and home respectively on the same play.
The Commodores first pulled it off cleanly during a game with the University of Florida last May. That one was a little bit more of the delayed variety, as the runner occupying first base got a late start and had to hightail it into second base to complete the hat trick. On Tuesday, though, Vanderbilt pulled it off again in a more straight forward fashion during their 4-1 victory over Lipscomb.
Or at least it will go down as a success in the scorebook.
As you noticed in the video, it’s actually a really close play at the plate as runner Xavier Turner charges down the line and then attempts to get around the tag of catcher Taylor Stewart. In fact, it almost looks like Turner never gets the plate, and if he did it’s hard to fathom how Taylor could have missed the tag. But home plate umpire Chuck Pack’s emphatic safe call indicates he saw a different picture, so we won't argue with him.
Tony Kemp and Jack Lupo stole second and third respectively to complete the extremely rare feat. So rare, in fact, that Dayn Perry of Eye on Baseball tells us it hasn't happened in Major League Baseball since May 27, 2008, when David Dellucci, Grady Sizemore and Jamey Carroll of the Cleveland Indians accomplished it against Chicago White hurler Ethan Wassermann.
Those names bring back memories, don't they?
But getting back to Vanderbilt — the No. 3 ranked team in college baseball, by the way. We mentioned how they aren't afraid to call for the triple steal any time the opportunity presents itself. Their first attempt at it this season actually came back in February against Long Beach State. On that occasion, Tony Kemp was the lead runner, but he was unable to get around the tag.
It only took them a month to go back to that well, and it'll be interesting to see if they're able to pull it off again now that teams know they have to prepare for it. Of course that could also prove to be an advantage if the opposition lets their attention get diverted. But first and foremost, it's just fun and aggressive baseball, which I absolutely love.